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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, May 25, 2024

Caffeinated Commentary: Simon’s Coffee Shop

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If you’re a Tufts student, you may not know about Simon’s Coffee Shop (located at 1736 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge). It’s a bit of a hike from campus (about a 40 minute walk or a 20 minute T ride), but it’s worth venturing to because the cozy vibes are off the charts.

Simon’s has the best latte art of any coffee shops I’ve seen in the area so far (and I’ve seen a lot of coffee shops, hence the column). Aesthetic rating: 10/10. The environment is homey, housed in a small space with 12 tables inside (seating two people each) and two tables outside. My favorite spot is at the window table, ideal for people-watching. 

A huge win for Simon’s is their Post-it note wall. This little space is covered in notes, and there’s a shelf containing every color of pens and Post-its so you can add your own (I’ve added a few now, so I feel a special attachment to the wall). Some of my favorite notes read: “you should get a dog,” “go to therapy” and “Happy New Year” with a drawing of two snails in love.

The Post-it wall at Simon's Coffee Shop is pictured. (Natalie Bricker / The Tufts Daily)

The music choice is really funny because they’re blasting early 2000s pop music at all times, but somehow it compliments the vibes. It’s a lively spot in the mornings, but tends to be quieter in the afternoons. The workers are personable and fun to chat with, and sometimes I catch them dancing or singing along to the blasting music (think: Bruno Mars and Kesha — like I said, a funny mix). 

Overall, the environment gets a 8/10, but unfortunately, the coffee is only a 4/10 for me. I wish I liked the coffee more, because the environment is so cute and welcoming that I could stay here — and have stayed here — for hours. The latte I tried just isn’t anything special, to be honest. Simon’s chai, however, is a solid 7/10. And the prices are much lower than other cafes I’ve visited nearby; my chai latte was around $5 for a small, but it came in a mug that could’ve been a large. 

I was so excited to try one of their poppy-seed muffins, but the ratio of muffin to poppy seed wasn’t great. I love poppy-seed muffins, but eating this one felt like taking bites of pure poppy seed. I had my friend try it, and she agreed that it was simply too much poppy seed. 

Simon’s gives big “regular customer” energy; I’ve recognized some customers who are here every time. I asked two of the regulars to share their thoughts and they raved about Simon’s, saying that they’ve “been coming every day for six years.” When I asked them to rate Simon’s on a scale of one to 10, they quickly answered “10.”  

On Facebook, Simon’s boasts an impressive 4.9/5, which is interesting compared to Diesel (the coffee shop I reviewed last week), which has a 4.4/5 rating. While I gave Diesel an 8/10, I think Simon’s earns a 7/10 from me, simply because I wish the coffee was better. However, I still come here often to hang out in the warm atmosphere. 

When you google “Simon’s Coffee Shop,” a description pops up which reads, “Coffee shop is a warm space for artfully presented lattes, plus cider, sandwiches, tea & tunes.” 

I completely agree with this description; the environment is warm, the lattes “artfully presented,” and the “tunes” complete the vibe. I’ll skip the coffee and muffins, but will happily sip on a chai latte, enjoy the cozy energy and leave some ost-its on the wall. 

See you next week for more “Caffeinated Commentary!”

Natalie Bricker / The Tufts Daily